House of Commons Hansard #66 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seats.

Topics

Chilliwack Salvation Army Food Bank
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Monday Chilliwack's firefighters and other emergency service personnel had an unusually busy night. They went up and down the streets of town in their gear with their lights flashing, going door to door.

Fortunately, they were not responding to a fire. Instead they were responding, as they do every year, to the Salvation Army food bank's request for help in soliciting donations. In one night, they collected over 20,000 food items.

Our local firefighters and emergency service personnel put their lives on the line to protect the health and safety of our citizens and their property whenever they are called into duty. They not only volunteer to fight fires, but they volunteer to make our community a better place to live, work and raise a family.

On behalf of the people of Chilliwack, I want to thank all of the firefighters and other emergency service personnel who participated in the event, and everyone who made a donation, for making this Christmas season a little brighter for those less fortunate in our community.

Criminal Code
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Kennedy Stewart Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, on February 28, 2005, Helen Sonja Francis, a nurse and resident of Burnaby—Douglas, was tragically struck and killed while cycling in northern British Columbia. Evidence suggests the driver of the car was impaired.

Section 256 of the Criminal Code states that a warrant must be issued within four hours to obtain blood samples from people involved in an accident who are suspected of being impaired. However, in this case the warrant was signed 13 minutes too late because of the remote location and a local power outage. This delay meant the driver who killed Helen was not charged with driving under the influence.

For six long years Helen's brother, George Sojka, and her daughter Sarah have asked the government to extend the time limit for these types of warrants. Such a change would better ensure that impaired drivers who cause injury and death would be brought to justice and would give at least some peace to affected families.

I ask the government to immediately review this section of the Criminal Code and extend the time limit for warrants.

Canadian Bankers Association
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Canadian Bankers Association as it celebrates its 120th anniversary this week. Formed in 1891, the CBA is one of Canada's oldest business associations.

Today the CBA represents 52 member banks, both domestic and foreign, that operate in Canada. With its expertise in banking operations, the CBA plays an effective role in helping government and parliamentarians develop public policies that contribute to Canada's sound and successful banking system.

Indeed, earlier this fall, for the fourth year in a row Canada was again ranked as having the soundest banks and soundest system in the world by the World Economic Forum.

The Canadian Bankers Association also promotes financial literacy to help Canadians make informed financial decisions, and it works with banks and law enforcement to help protect customers against financial crime and promote fraud awareness.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish the CBA the very best as it marks this milestone in its long history.

Human Trafficking
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, a short time ago I attended an event hosted by the Young Nak Presbyterian Church in Toronto. The event, themed “Give me Hope”, was working to raise awareness and resources to assist with the growing problem of stolen Vietnamese children.

The sex trade has flourished in places like Cambodia and consequently has caused countless innocent children to be abducted, exploited and even murdered as fuel for this horrific industry.

These children are abducted from their parents, taken from the streets or simply attracted by promises of money, food, shelter and drugs in return for turning their young bodies into a commodity for sale to the highest bidder.

These children, some as young as three years of age, have their childhood, their basic human rights and their dignity stolen, and we must do more to help.

All Canadians are outraged by this atrocity, and I would call upon the government and all parliamentarians to work aggressively with our international partners to protect these young victims of the sex trade.

Human Trafficking
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, the holidays are approaching. Most of us will be spending time with family and friends. Unfortunately, there are some who will not have this opportunity. There are those out there who will be forced to spend this holiday far away from those they truly love.

Miss Hunter, whose mother, Lisa, lives in my riding, has paid a heavy price. At 16, she was drugged, and people paid to sexually abuse her. This year she turned 18; in May was found with a man three times her age, overdosed with Valium. Paramedics were called more than four hours after she stopped breathing. They determined she had been lying dead next to her john for five hours by the time they arrived.

Human trafficking takes a tremendous toll both inside and outside our borders. The Salvation Army states that 700,000 to 4,000,000 people are trafficked annually worldwide. That is why I encourage all parliamentarians to support Bill C-310, put forward by the member for Parliament for Kildonan—St. Paul to punish human trafficking.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, last week I was in South Africa representing Canada's north at two international climate change conferences. At the first conference, organized by GLOBE International, I learned first-hand just how appalled the rest of the world is with Canada's position on climate change. At that conference, one after another, representatives from other countries rose to attack Canada. The worst came from the former deputy prime minister of the United Kingdom, who likened Canada's attempt to sabotage international co-operation on climate change as a conspiracy against the poor.

When I got to Durban for the UN conference, I learned why Canada was held in such low esteem. Other than to disrupt any agreement, this country was missing in action. Anyone other than the minister and his spin doctors was unwelcome in the Canadian delegation. No scientists or opposition MPs were allowed.

It is unfortunate that the government's blind pro-big-business ideology and lack of willingness to face the facts about the environment and climate change have so damaged our international reputation.

Battle of Hong Kong
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of thousands of Canadians came to Canada from Hong Kong, and 70 years ago this month many of them lived through the Battle of Hong Kong, my father being one of them. It was in that battle that the Royal Rifles of Canada and the Winnipeg Grenadiers defended the Crown Colony from an attack by the Japanese in the first combat engagement of Canadian troops in the Second World War.

Seventeen days of battle ended on Christmas Day, 1941. There were 290 Canadians killed, and 493 were wounded. There were 1,600 Canadians captured; in the three and a half years that followed, they lived in appalling conditions in prisoner of war camps. Hundreds died in that captivity.

Years later my father moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, home of the Winnipeg Grenadiers. Years later I met one of those Hong Kong veterans, Mr. George MacDonnell, who was taken prisoner of war in that battle. He survived and worked as vice-president at General Electric after the war and later as a deputy minister in the Government of Ontario. He currently lives in Toronto.

That truly was the greatest generation. Mr. MacDonnell and his comrades sacrificed so that my family and I could live. My family and I will never ever forget.

Democratic Protest in Russia
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday we witnessed great public discontent throughout Russia. In Moscow, approximately 40,000 people protested amid reports of widespread voter fraud during Russia's parliamentary elections.

The heart of this democratic movement is Alexey Navalny, an impressive young man whose activism against fraud, corruption and the creative use of social media have inspired a flourish of democratic activity that Russia has not seen since the fall of Communism. For organizing this and other peaceful protests, Alexey was arrested on December 5 and sentenced to 15 days for obstructing traffic. This laughable charge did not discourage him from pressing on to ensure that Russia does not slide back into the dark authoritarianism that punished her people and terrorized her neighbours for most of the 20th century.

The resolve of the protestors had an impact. On Sunday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced that he will order an official inquiry into the handling of the elections. While many Russians are skeptical, I am relieved that Mr. Navalny will be there to monitor the process when he is released from prison. This cannot happen soon enough.

Sister Gisèle Foucreault
Statements By Members

December 13th, 2011 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Djaouida Sellah Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I wish to acknowledge the work of Sister Gisèle Foucreault, a nun with roots in Saint-Bruno.

Sister Gisèle entered the order in 1957 and has been a missionary in Lesotho since 1963. She has been involved in dozens of projects that have helped improve everyday life for hundreds of people. From improving access to drinking water and housing, to working on building local infrastructure such as schools, libraries, bakeries and farmers' co-operatives, Sister Gisèle has made life better for hundreds of families.

Sister Gisèle's work has also made the youth in Saint-Bruno more aware of the needs and reality of young people elsewhere in the world through their involvement in the Minta Saint-Bruno organization.

Congratulations to Sister Gisèle on her involvement and her work and thank you to Minta Saint-Bruno and the youth of Saint-Bruno for their contributions.

Birthday of His Highness the Aga Khan
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, December 13 is an important day for the Ismaili community around the world. His Highness the Aga Khan, a descendant of the prophet Muhammad, was born in Geneva on this day in 1936.

In May 2010, this wise imam was given honorary Canadian citizenship by the Prime Minister of Canada.

In 1957, Her Majesty the Queen had granted him the title “His Highness”. The spiritual leader of 15 million Ismailis across 25 countries, His Highness the Aga Khan has emphasized the view of his faith, a faith that teaches compassion and tolerance, true Canadian values.

The well-being of his fellow Muslims has always been important to His Highness.

On behalf of all Canadians, I wish His Highness the Aga Khan a happy 75th birthday. May he enjoy peace, health, joy and my favourite, serenity.

Head Injuries
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, not a day goes by without the media reporting on the impact of concussions in professional sport.

Yesterday Sidney Crosby announced he will again find himself sidelined by concussion-like symptoms. NHL points leader Claude Giroux also is sitting out with a concussion. Last week, news broke that the brain of deceased NHL player Derek Boogaard showed signs of CTE as a result of numerous concussions and head shots, yet the government is ignoring the fact that this concussion epidemic is affecting our young athletes.

We have great initiatives in Canada, such as Dr. Paul Echlin's online library and Impakt helmet sensors, but the government is missing in action on this file.

My bill, Bill C-319, would address this epidemic by creating a sports injury data collection system, concussion guidelines, and training and educational standards for coaches, and it would provide incentivized funding to assist amateur sport organizations implementing these protocols.

Concussions are a public health issue. It is time for the government to take action by fast-tracking Bill C-319 to give parents and coaches the tools they need to reduce concussions among our young athletes.

Special Olympics Development Games
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend I was proud to be invited to the Yukon's fourth annual Developmental Games for the Special Olympics.

The games were designed to increase interest and participation in various sports and to provide an opportunity for the athletes to showcase their skills in front of a local crowd.

I wish to thank Serge Michaud and congratulate all of the organizers, the coaches, the dedicated volunteers and the athletes for their work in putting these games together.

In the spirit of the Special Olympics, I call upon all members of the House to take any opportunity that they have to attend Special Olympic events or games, as these tremendous athletes teach us how we can compete against one another and at the same time be respectful, encouraging, enthusiastic friends.

Tributes
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to two remarkable women in my Mount Royal riding.

Bracha Chetrit-Tritt was born in Jerusalem and came to Canada in 1962. She was a teacher for 35 years. Bracha has been an exemplary community volunteer, was involved in both federal and provincial politics for 30 years and was a founding member of the Group of 35 in the struggle for Soviet Jewry.

To a proud mother and grandmother, a happy 80th birthday.

Grunia Slutzky-Kohn was born in Belarus in 1928, fled the Nazis during the Shoah, and came to Canada in 1972. She became a prolific and gifted poet and writer about the Holocaust, children and peace, and is about to publish her tenth book as a tribute to her beloved Canada, in three languages.

Happy 83rd birthday, Grunia.

Ad mea ve'esrim. To 120 to both of them. We wish you all the best.

Green Energy
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, what do the Liberals and NDP mean by “green energy”? Ontario's Auditor General's report told us this week, saying that the Liberal Green Energy Act will drive up electricity bills by at least $8 billion a year.

That would be a hike of 46%, or $360 a year on the average household energy bill. While wealthy insiders would make big bucks trading green contracts, small businesses would have to lay people off to pay the $6,000-a-year electricity hike, which would be a real job-killer.

Federally, the liberal NDP would do likewise, with green taxes and higher gas prices.

As Margaret Thatcher said and as Europe is now proving, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money”.

On this side of the House, we know that a dollar in the hands of the person who earned it is always better spent than in the hands of the politician who taxed it.

Ethics
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the lobbying commissioner has found that once again Tory insiders are breaking the rules and flying under the radar of the Lobbying Act. The latest is her report on Tory insider, Rahim Jaffer, and failed Tory candidate, Patrick Glémaud, who tried to use the back door to get their hands on $178 million in contracts.

With this damning report, we will see that the Conservative government will do nothing. How many prosecutions have there been for illegal lobbying? Zero.

This is how it goes down. If the commissioner finds questionable conduct with lobbying, she has to suspend her investigation and call in the RCMP. What does the RCMP do? Nothing. It gives a “Get Out of Jail Free” card every time. When the lobbying commissioner suggests that the RCMP come to the ethics committee to explain this extreme lassitude, the Conservatives put up roadblocks.

What do the Conservatives have to hide? Under the government, we all know how its does business. It is who one knows in the PMO.